Welcome to Monday night for a week where I want to change the pace a little bit. Last few weeks we have seen the party crossing the country to get places and hopping from one adventure to the next. This month I want to have a single bigger adventure broken into three sections for our weekly sessions.
Let’s see if I can resist throwing were-polar bears at the party as we start our frosted trek through the Kugani Ranges.
The Wake of Royalty
Moving forward was slower going since the attack from the Onikage and undead wolves but they were finally seeing less and less snow settling on the ground as they progressed further east and towards the Kugani Ranges.
“About half a day ahead we should reach a village, they are not part of any family but they usually have an Inn to stay at and are normally friendly to strangers and those who need help” Kuang announced as he finished drinking from his water skin. “And I hope they have some supplies for us as that river was a quite some distance back”.
The ground descended slowly which made the the walk some what easier and soon they found a well worn path that head off towards two peaks at either side of the ranges that created a valley between them, a highway for travel that was frequented by merchants and the like so finding a ride through should be easy. Not more than a mile after joining the road they heard the sound of approaching horses and a wagon approached them heading towards the ranges.
After some discussion the party and Kyoko, Kuang and Hana jumped on and for the first time in what felt like days they were able to rest up and relax as they marvelled at the views of nature. Still descending towards the valley the grass was green and littered with specs of snow with infrequent trees dotting the landscape. Strange elk-like creatures walked through the lands here but the long fox-like tail that trailed behind them spoke of something more mystical than the mundane elks that the party would encounter back in Faerun. Pointing out something odd one of the parties noticed a few deep furrows in the land, like something had dug up a large patch of grass, earth and dirt in a straight line heading in the direction that they were going. Kuang nor the merchant Jason Keening, who happened to also be from Faerun, knew what had caused them or could even make a wild guess.
As the sun began its descent and the afternoon was well on its way the horses of the wagon slowed down as Jason urged them to slow with repeated ‘woo’s’. “You, uh, lot. You better see this.” he called back towards the party and as they climbed out of the comfortable wagon – much to the protest of their bodies – The village up ahead looked as if it had been through a war, or an attack of some sort. Continuing on their way but having the party ready for combat they saw that the people were not lost and were walking around fine but they shied away from the visitors and even the children did not run out to greet them.
“Normally this village is happy to see my wagon, excited even. I don’t understand what could be the cause of this but these are good people.” Jason said as he moved his wagon over to the inn. A few houses either side of the road looked like they were in the midst of repair and there was a chill to the town that was unlike the meadows a few hours before.
Walking into the inn a nervous and skittish man stood up abruptly from behind a desk “Welcome to the Will’o’wisp inn” he said before a long pause, “We don’t have much room at the moment so I would suggest travelling until the next Village on the other side of the valley” the man said to the party, his posture and demeanour changing as Jason walked in.
After a few moments of talking to Jason quietly and the exchange between Jason and the inn-keep ‘yeah, not good Jason, were’ empty here but I cant take you. I cant risk it‘ were overheard Jason clasped him on the shoulder and walked to the party.
“Well we can get some supplies here but that’s about all we can do unfortunately. As you heard the man, they don’t have rooms for us” Jason smiled but his heart wasn’t in it before he walked back to his wagon to fetch a few supplies to go about his business.
It’s been a while since I have done this format, and I am not quite sure when I stopped doing it, but the party can press the point here and make promises to fix what ever the inn and town is being plagued with – which the end result is the same – or they can continue on after picking up some supplies.
If the party ask around town they would eventually find someone who would explain that the Yuki-onna betrothed to the Toshio family visited a few weeks back and after commanding them to swear allegiance to them and allow passage to spirts and fey-folk, which was refused, one night they woke up to the sound of their homes and businesses being torn apart by a roaring wind, the cold set in freezing their well and stopping the hot spring that kept the town warm and well supplied with water. The day after the queen returned and this time made the same request, noting that freak storms were seen on the horizon but she may be able to spare the village from another visitation. This time they accepted and removed the wards that kept out malicious spirits and fey-folk. From that night onwards, about a week ago, each night they would wake up to find their doors open and food stuffs, or items, missing and two nights ago some visitors to the inn were taken in the middle of the night – their screams woke up the town as they were dragged into the dark. The villagers are terrified at what the Toshio Yuki-onna will do to them next time and, more importantly, don’t want the violence to escalate. So in order to make sure it doesn’t happen they are stopping all visitors from staying in the village for their own safety.
The villagers don’t know where they go, or what they are doing but every night they are visited and each morning something else is missing with tracks covered in the snow.
If the party investigate the houses or buildings that were damaged during the storm they will find one house who is much less repaired than the others which appears to have deep cuts or abrasions in the side of the house like swords or daggers or axes cut in perfectly straight lines to damage part of the roof and wall.
Well that’s what we have for us tonight and more to go this week as we continue on this part of the journey. Thanks for dropping by and thanks to my new readers for taking your time the last few days to come and read the musings that I lay bare for everyone to read, it honestly means a lot. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night to learn a bit more about Jason and maybe a few of the villagers, and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe